Knowing how to optimize your site is hard enough. More challenging still is knowing how to do it for your profession. For attorneys, there are aspects of their professional status as well as specific SEO tasks that they can leverage to get the most out of marketing in search engines. Today, +Jeffrey Lapin of +Lapin Law Offices shares his experience with optimizing a site specifically for lawyers.
1. There are a lot of factors in optimizing a website for search. As an attorney, what are the most important elements that I should be focused on?
The most important factors in optimizing a website for search are: quality content; SEO; and a good user experience.
2. I know I can get links from directories and social media but where else can I go about getting high-quality links?
Other sources of high-quality links include: links from high quality blogs or websites; making comments on blog articles and social media; paid online advertising such as PPC.
3. How do I make sure I’m generating leads for my practice using SEO?
There are various way to determine if you’re generating leads using SEO. You can use Google Analytics to determine how many people are coming to your site. You can also use various analytics program for social media. In addition, you can use call tracking numbers. The easiest, and surest, way is to just ask a person when he or she calls what caused them to call your office.
You should not completely ignore Bing and Yahoo although if there was a conflict I would focus on Google SEO over the other two. There is probably very little in SEO optimization for Google that will get you penalized by Bing or Yahoo.
5. Are social signals important for SEO and if so, how much time should I spend on the task of getting engagement on social media?
Social signals are very important for SEO and once your website is set up and optimized, the majority of your time should be used to blog and on social media. Social signals allow you to get quality links to your site, which is a significant SEO factor.
6. What are the highest value activities I can be doing to optimize me website?
The highest value activities an attorney should be doing once a website is live are: regularly blogging quality content; making sure your website loads quickly; and making sure you are in compliance with Google’s webmaster and spam rules.
There are many activities that can get you in trouble including: unnatural links; keyword stuffing; slow website loading; duplicate content; poor user experience; failing to use SEO best practices.
8. I’ve heard that having a blog is good for SEO. As an attorney, what types of things should I be posting and how often?
You should be posting about items related to the type of law you practice. Your blog posts should serve some purpose other than just being another blog post. Things you should be blogging about include: items in the news related to the areas of law you practice; answers to frequently asked questions; posts that demonstrate that you are an “expert” in that particular area of law. You should always include at least one image in your blog post. In addition, you can post infographics or other images that would be helpful to potential clients.
You should try to post as often as you can as long as the posts are of good quality. The size of the firm does make a difference as it is harder for smaller firms to post as often as larger ones. A good rule for the average 1-5 attorney firm should be posting at least once a week. In addition, you want to post and share on social media sites in accordance with when they are most likely to be seen by your target audience. In addition, you should try to post at a regular frequency so readers will know when to expect new content.
9. How can I use my specific professional status and industry relationships to help my SEO efforts?
As an attorney you can be listed in certain directories and other social networks that other professionals cannot such as Martindale and Avvo. You can guest post or post on some of the larger legal websites. You can also network with other lawyers, share information, ask for links to your site or comments on your social media posts. You can do comparative posts such as how one state’s law differs than another’s.
10. Are there any other general SEO tips that would be valuable for attorneys to know?
SEO is not an overnight process and it can takes days, weeks or even months to see benefits of SEO. Make sure you stay in compliance with Google quality guidelines. You should keep informed about new and trends in SEO. Do not hire any SEO marketer who guarantees you first page organic listings on Google. Make sure you own your domain and website content.